The Valleys play host to two Wales under-16 Rugby League internationals over the Easter holidays. The action kicks off at Sardis Road, Pontypridd on Good Friday for the visit of England (kick-off 12pm) before moving up to Abercynon RFC on Thursday 31 March where France are the visitors (kick-off 5pm). Admission for each game is just �3 for adults, free for children and senior citizens. Valley Cougars' Mark Rowley has been instrumental in setting up these fixtures and is pleased to see that out of the squad of 22, nine are local lads. Rowley comments: "It's a reward for all the hard work that's been put into local rugby league over the last few years. These lads were part of one of the best junior sides in Wales last year and it's great to see them being rewarded for their efforts." Wales warmed up for these matches with an excellent 60-28 win over the London and South under-16 side at Reading last Sunday. What makes this win even more impressive is that the match was played without conversions meaning that Wales ran in 15 tries to the host's seven. Wales coach Kevin Weaver was very impressed with the youngsters and is sure that this win will set them up nicely for the England match on Good Friday. "We will always be the underdogs against England," Weaver comments, "But this young Welsh side has plenty of talent and they've come on leaps and bounds since they started training just three weeks ago. If they carry on putting in performances like they did against London then the future of Rugby League in Wales is in very safe hands. Last week's win was a tremendous all-round team effort. it was very pleasing to watch as a coach and I'm confident that we'll do well." The England match will be the third fixture between the two countries at this level and England have won both the previous encounters. They were 40-0 winners in 2003 and emerged as 26-10 victors in 2004.
England�s Head Coach Chris Chapman says: �The team have trained well during the past two months and are well focused for the match on Good Friday.
�We are expecting a tough encounter with Wales, who have made good progress during the last two years. However, we have the best available talent that has been identified through our extensive player pathway and they are keen to do well in their first year of international rugby�
Wales Squad: Alex Ball (Valley Cougars), Dean Beck (Aberavon Fighting Irish), Aaron Bray (Aberavon Fighting Irish), Chris Brett (Bridgend Blue Bulls), Michael Chandler (Monmouth Schools), Scott Collins (Valley Cougars), Michael Conway (Valley Cougars), Kris Dacey (Valley Cougars), Jason Davies (Bridgend Blue Bulls), Karl Davies (Bridgend Blue Bulls), Rowan Davies (Aberavon Fighting Irish), Tom Griffin (Valley Cougars), Anthony James (Aberavon Fighting Irish), Sam Jones (Monmouth Schools), Craig Lewis (Valley Cougars), Garyn Lucas (Valley Cougars), Sam McCoy (Monmouth Schools), Ryan Miles (Bridgend Blue Bulls, Captain), Matt Saunders (Valley Cougars), Brett Thomas (Aberavon Fighting Irish), Jake Thomas (Valley Cougars), Adam Wright (Swansea Valley Miners). England Squad: Shane Grady (Widnes Vikings), Mike Lawrence (Huddersfield Giants), Richard Lopag (Huddersfield Giants), David Leeke (Castleford Tigers), Gary Wheeler (St Helens), Richard Myler (Widnes Vikings), Liam Farrell (Wigan Warriors), Keale Carlile (Bradford Bulls), Gareth Frodsham (St Helens), Dominic Dee (Bradford Bulls), Joe Westerman (Hull FC), Jason Crookes (Bradford Bulls), Leigh Coe (Bradford Bulls), Steve Crossley (Bradford Bulls), Brett Robinson (Wigan Warriors), Mathew Fox (Leeds Rhinos), Richard Owen (Castleford Tigers), Joe Swaine (Bradford Bulls).